Charlie Gilmour has admitted it’s good for him to step out of the ‘Arsenal bubble’, as much as he enjoyed his time with the club.
Gilmour left Arsenal on a free transfer this summer, joining Norwich City before moving on loan to Dutch second-division side Telstar. He’s already made four appearances for his temporary club, so it doesn’t look like he’ll struggle for game time this season.
Of course, it’s not quite the same playing for Telstar every week versus turning out for Arsenal. Gilmour says the change is a good thing for him though.
“It’s different, but in a positive way,” Gilmour told VoetbalZone. “I feel like I see the real world, with Arsenal you are in a kind of bubble.
“It’s good to step out of it, gain experience and play in a first-team. You hear stories from the other boys about the real world and you don’t believe that right away, but now I understand what it’s like.”
Young players often do just need to step out of their comfort zone to succeed. Not always, and there are many examples of youth stars stepping up directly into the first team, but it’s far more common for them to need to test themselves elsewhere first.
That doesn’t mean Gilmour didn’t take plenty of good experiences from his time in North London though.
“My debut in the first was the best moment of my career so far. I will always remember those games. Of course, it gives your self-confidence a boost, but I am someone who stays firmly on the ground.
“It’s interesting to see so much quality up close. You can see them on television, but only when you are on the field with them can you see how good they really are and what level you need to have to play at Arsenal or in the Premier League.
“You have to train with confidence, play your own game and try to make an impression if you get a chance.”
As for why the young midfielder chose the Netherlands for his loan move from Norwich, he explained that he believed it was the best place for him to go and play his style of football.
“Many people in England advised me to go abroad and one of the options was the Netherlands. Teams try to play more football here and keep it up, even when things go wrong.
“I would like to have the ball on the floor because I feel that I am technically good enough to play that game. That is why I knew that the Netherlands would be the right place for me, football is attractive and teams always try to play football.
“It was a no brainer, frankly. I also knew the coach (Andries Jonker) from my time at Arsenal, so that is also an advantage. I didn’t know much about Telstar, I must confess.”
Gilmour will hope he can follow in the footsteps of the likes of ex-Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley, who moved out to the Netherlands before returning to join Birmingham City this summer. The first signs are positive.